Here’s a confession. I found this cool thing and I want to tell you all about it because, frankly, it is interesting and if it reaches the right person it might just change someone’s life for the better. My problem is that I don’t know how to begin an article in a way that doesn’t pull on your heartstrings or otherwise involve some bad pun that leaves me looking like a total ass. The subject is sensitive and it needs to be handled delicately, but at the same time I can’t write anything makes me feel like an overly PC tool, either. Since I am trapped, I guess I’ll just say it outright: I found this company that will convert a full size GM pickup for use with a wheelchair in such a way that it preserves the vehicle’s lines and doesn’t tell the entire world that the truck is a handicapped conversion unit. What’s more, this truck can be set up so the wheelchair bound person can be either the passenger or the driver. That’s cool, and whether or not someone in your life is confined to a wheelchair, I think you’ll want to see this too.
According to the Mobility SVM website, the design in question began life as the product of two friends, one a mechanical engineer named Go and the other a quadriplegic named Shichi. The story goes that Shichi was tired of the conversion van that he relied upon for transport and discussed is desire for a pickup truck with his friend Go. Go set to work and eventually came up with a design that would allow his friend to travel by truck. By 2009 their product, then called the GoShichi, was ready and once the design was fully tested and patented, the two set about establishing a company to do the conversion. In 2012 that company was purchased by new owners who have since worked to further improve upon and promote the design and the end result is the product you see upon these pages.
The best thing about Mobility SVM’s product is the fact that it can be mounted on a normal GM truck without extensive modifications to the vehicles roof or floor. Often, conversion vans set up for wheel chair use have lowered floors, that leaves them lacking sufficient ground clearance for rough roads or winter driving conditions. Additionally the long ramps they often employ can be made useless in certain situations where people park too close or in areas with insufficient space to unfold a long ramp. Mobility SVM’s side loading life does away with the hassle of the ramp altogether.
I can’t even begin to imagine the daily challenges of living my life from a wheel chair but one thing I think I would miss would be the ability to blend in with everyone else. The way the Mobility SVM attaches to a truck while leaving its factory lines and ride height unmodified would greatly appeal to me. I might still be in my wheelchair, but out there on the road I would once again be just one of the guys on my way to or from wherever life takes me. I’d like that. If you, or someone important to you is confined to a wheelchair and wants more out of life than a minivan, Mobility SVM may be the right answer.
Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He writes for any car website that will have him and enjoys public speaking. According to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.